uberxUber announced today that it has raised $1.2 billion — yes, billion with a “b” — at a $17 billion pre-money valuation. That’s the highest valuation for any private tech company, ever.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick wrote in a blog post this morning that the company expects to raise a total of $1.4 billion from “top tier institutional investors, mutual funds, private equity and venture capital partners.”

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Kalanick noted that revenue is doubling every six months for the San Francisco-based company. Uber, founded in 2010, is now operating its transportation service in 128 cities in 37 countries.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick

“Uber is changing the fabric of these cities,” Kalanick wrote in the blog post. “At our current rate, Uber is responsible for directly creating 20,000 new jobs per month and powering billions in economic impact in cities around the world – while also improving the environment, reducing DUI rates and fueling urban economic development.”

WSJ also notes that new investors include Fidelity Investments, Wellington Management, and BlackRock Inc., with Summit Partners, Kleiner Perkins, Google Ventures, and Menlo Ventures also participating. Uber, which previously brought in $258 million this past August, has raised $1.5 billion in total, including cash from Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos.

It’s been quite the four years for Uber, which has drawn praise from consumers who like the convenience, but also the ire of the taxi industry and city regulators for its business practices.

Some cities have even banned Uber outright from operating on its streets over concerns like safety and insurance.  In Seattle, Mayor Ed Murray may issue a cease-and-desist letter to Uber, Lyft and Sidecar if an agreement over regulations between taxi drivers, city officials and representatives from the transportation startups cannot be reached.

Related: Uber CEO wants to hire campaign manager in war against ‘evil’ taxi industry

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  • elbowman

    Uber/Lyft receive cease and desist orders in Virginia. The first of many more to come as these taxi companies flout laws across the country and around the world. Their massive debt will only exacerbate their problems as governments restrict their less than legal operations.


    • Guest

      They need real money to fight the government/taxi monopolies that long ago stopped serving the public’s best interest. Sucks to lose.

    • Kevin McCarthy

      Equity investment is not equal to debt.

    • elbowman

      Uber/Lyft state they will ignore Virginia’s cease and desist order, continuing their operations there. Great way to do ‘business’.


      • Kary

        Wow, that’s amazing the arrogance of that company. I wonder if Virginia also has criminal penalties, like Washington?

    • http://ClaussConcept.com Jason Gerard Clauss

      Da, Comrade! Damn those capitalist pigs. How dare they break laws made by politicians! Dear Leader will surely bring them to justice.

      • elbowman

        So, now laws are communist?! Or, only communists obey the law?!

        Good luck in your life of crime.

        • http://ClaussConcept.com Jason Gerard Clauss

          If I were you, I’d do a bit of research about how laws are made. Given your high regard for “the law”, you must be picturing a council of wise philosopher-statesmen, economists, and scientists carefully and rationally plotting out the best course for the polity.

          In reality it’s a bunch of undereducated buffoons largely chosen for their marketable appearance being manipulated by a motley rabble of sleazy lobbyists, hysterical suburbanites, shady foreign interests, and their own deluded belief in a sociopathic invisible sky wizard.

          The end product of this degenerate perversion is the pile of laws you hold in such regard.

          Here’s the short version: If you can’t specifically identify the victim whose rights have been violated (and let me be clear, there’s no such thing as a positive right), then no crime has been committed.

  • Guest

    What are they smoking in Silicon Valley? Marijuana is legal here, not there! Kalanick must have one amazing reality distortion field.

    This is going to turn out to be the biggest bad investment in the history of venture capital. Why don’t these idiot VCs put the money in a company like Tesla instead? Or put a million each into 1200 startups? Both of those have a way better chance of both success and a return on investment.

    • Kary

      Did the condition of WAMU in 2007 reduce the large investment made in it to the level of being “venture capital?” ;-)

  • elbowman

    @Taylor_Soper:disqus…That’s three copies and pastes from three different sources, and two paragraphs you may have authored, totalling one article. They pay you for that? I’m in the wrong profession!

  • DL

    $17b for an overhyped car service is ridiculous.

  • Kevin Foreman

    Wow. Good for them. Crowdsourcing at its best.

    • DL

      It is impressive, no joke about that. Near perfect execution on creating and sustaining buzz, building valuation and raising money.

      The only problem is the underlying product, which is not all that impressive or revolutionary and is going to hit a wall soon, unless you think that Uber is going to be a huge hit outside the large hipster cities and then spread across the globe…in which case it ends up as a really big car service company, and still my reaction is so what.

      They are not reinventing logistics, despite the talk. People will wake up eventually. But by the time that happens, a lot of money will be made.

      I think the fact that their team has built it to this level on such a weak product speaks very well of them.

      Well done.

      • Guest

        You obviously haven’t used the service. It is fantastic, end of story.

        • DL

          I will concede that it is a fantastic car service. That is not especially impressive to me. There is a fantastic froyo place near my house. Also not impressive to me, and also not worth $17b.

          Just saying.

  • Dave

    Not correct. The Goldman/DST investment deal with Facebook had a primary component so remains the highest valuation and size ever in a private, tech financing. Uber is second.

  • Guest

    Extraordinary! This is a truly inspiring story of how a company can rise above the naysayers to serve a customer base who so desires it. I’m only saddened that I couldn’t invest, Kickstarter-style, to reap the rewards.

    Just today I learned of Bridj ( http://www.bridj.com/ ) which is a similar service to Uber, only for public transportation. It’s a little more $ than a car, but by using intelligent algorithm design, I’m confident that it will do to busses what Uber has done to taxis. Let’s get Bridj to Seattle before our voter-induced bus shutdown begins in September.

    • ClaimsAdjuster

      Cow: “This is a truly inspiring story of how a company can rise above the naysayers to serve a customer base who so desires it.”

      Like Al Capone.

  • derp

    Idiots with too much loose cash + Illegal business model = FAIL

  • ClaimsAdjuster

    With all this money, UberX could actually insure its cars. In California, it looks like that is what is going to happen. A bill that requires TNCs to provide primary insurance for their drivers from clock-in to clock-out passed the California Assembly unanimously.

    Let’s see what the valuation is when UberX and Lyft can’t corners anymore.

  • guest

    If Uber is creating 20K jobs per month, what the hell do they need $1.2B for!!?? In one year, they’ve created more jobs than Microsoft has in 40 years – or so they claim.

    Something smells funny.

  • http://ClaussConcept.com Jason Gerard Clauss

    Awesome. I hope the taxi racket is extinct by 2020.

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